Nutrition in the first 1000 days of a child’s life is critical. BMS and CF manufacturers need to do more to provide parents with informed choice. Currently less than 40% of mothers breastfeed beyond six months.

Context

The first 24 months of a child’s life play a critical role in shaping their health and prosperity for their lives to come. What they eat and drink during this crucial period will determine how likely they are to grow to their full potential, to build resilience to certain NCDs and even to ensure their brains develop fully.

Ensuring mothers and fathers are given the freedom to make informed decisions about how best to feed their children is essential. Breastfeeding has to be championed by all stakeholders as the best option a parent has. It is a natural resource that gives babies their best chance in life. Where breastfeeding is not possible BMS and complimentary foods play an important role in providing the nutrients a baby needs.

International Frameworks

The importance of infant and young child nutrition is recognized by the World Health Organization and a multitude of governments. It is key to delivering SDG 2- Zero Hunger and 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing, which in turn underpins the achievement of many other SDGs.

The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and all subsequent relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions set out recommendations for appropriate marketing of both breast-milk substitutes (BMS) and complementary foods (CF). Manufacturers and distributors of BMS and CF are responsible to ensure their marketing practices conform to these principles.

Yet, to date, none of the large(est) BMS manufacturers have reached full compliance with the code.

Indexes

ATNI has now assessed BMS companies since 2013, Our IYCN work has continuously evolved leading to the first ever simultaneous publication of the BMS Index and our new CF Index. Studied together we get a far more realistic and nuanced sense of the challenges ahead.

ATNI’s 2016 and 2018 Global Indexes included six companies – Abbott, Danone, FrieslandCampina, KraftHeinz, Nestlé and Reckitt (previously RB/Mead Johnson Nutrition). For the 2021 BMS/CF Marketing Index, ATNI assessed the nine largest baby food companies to cover a larger share of the global baby foods market. Along with the aforementioned companies, the new entrants for the previous iteration were: China Feihe Limited (Feihe), China Mengniu Dairy Company Limited (Mengniu) and Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group (Yili).

ATNI’s BMS and CF Indexes 2024 will expand to the top 20 baby food companies.

BMS Index 2018

BMS/CF Index 2021

BMS and CF Indexes 2024 Methodology

Projects

ATNI has expanded its IYCN work beyond the Indexes and has recently completed various assessments of the nutritional composition and labeling practices of commercially available Complementary Foods. Below you can find links to the two latest projects, one focusing on companies in Southeast Asia and the latest one assessing the world’s six largest baby food companies in ten countries.

Company benchmarking on Commercially Produced Complementary Foods- COMMIT

Read more

Model Policy on BMS Marketing 

Current Initiatives

BMS Call to Action

The Call to Action was issued in June 2020 by WHO, UNICEF, Save the Children, Helen Keller Intl, FHI Solutions, FHI 360 and BRAC. It was directed to all companies that manufacture baby formula globally and was sent directly to the CEOs of 21 companies. ATNI has been assessing company responses since 2020 and to this day still continues to provide input and assess new updated responses.

Call to Action

 

Past Initiatives

Spotlight on Lobbying 2021: BMS manufacturers 

Read here

Action Research on Commercially Produced Complementary Foods 

Read here

ATNI’s collaboration with FTSE 

Read more

 

Below you can see all the companies assessed in the various iterations of the BMS and CF Indexes

Go to company scorecard

Abott

Go to company scorecard

Danone

Go to company scorecard

Feihe
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